1936: London is abuzz with gossip about the affair between Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. But the king is not the only member of the aristocracy with a hard decision to make. Owen Montignac, the handsome and charismatic descendent of a wealthy land-owning family, is anxiously awaiting the reading of his late uncle's will. For Owen has run up huge gambling debts and casino boss Nicholas Delfy has given him a choice: find Â£50,000 by Christmas - or find yourself six feet under.So when Owen discovers that he has been cut out of the will in favour of his beautiful cousin Stella, it is time to prove just how cunning he can be... And Owen is nothing if not inventive - even a royal crisis can provide the means for profit. And for murder...
Following the death of her seventeen-year-old mother in childbirth, Leonie Lynch is brought up in London's Eastgate Street by foster parents through the auspices of her godmother, the redoubtable Mrs Dodd, her living expenses provided for by her young mother's friend, Lady Angela Bentick.
Mrs Dodd turns to Lady Angela when her godchild is nearing her eighteenth birthday. Lady Angela runs a fashionable nursing home and can provide Leonie with a profession, whilst Mrs Dodd offers her accommodation. Upon joining Lady Angela's staff as a nurse, Leonie meets our two other heroines - Mercy Cordel and Dorinda Montgomery.
Mercy grew up at the family home, Cordel Court in Somerset, and shortly after her seventeenth birthday, was brought up to London by her stepmother for the London Season. Dorinda Montgomery, on the other hand, has hardly ridden up and down Rotten Row more than a half a dozen times before she has captured the heart of every masher around town, and earns the sobriquet 'Dorinda Blue.' Within days she is a famous member of the demi-monde, with her own house and carriage in St John's Wood. Meanwhile, Mercy Cordel is hard put to find a dancing partner. That she eventually finds a husband in the hard-bitten, hard-riding John Brancaster is a source of happy amazement to her.
Three such very different young women, and yet Society seems to reward Dorinda Montgomery more than it does the virtuous girl pushed into marriage with a suitably older husband. Certainly this is how it seems to Leonie Lynch, the only one of the three who has quite made up her mind to dedicate herself to something other than marriage...
Widowed Martha Moreton was a devoted mother to her only child, Lucy. When Lucy married Len on a golden July day, Martha tried hard to make the best of things. Len was a good man who would make Lucy happy. They wouldn't be living far away. And the arrival of grandchildren was something she anticipated eagerly.Unexpectedly, Len's job took the newly married couple overseas, where their first child was born. But sorrow, not joy, came with Dominic's birth. On their return, Lucy's best friend, Jennifer, as flighty as Lucy was conventional, was anxious to provide her own kind of consolation...Martha, who was experiencing unlooked-for and at first unwelcome changes in her own life, clung fast to the maternal bond that meant so much to herself and Lucy. Everything she had come to depend on was overturned, however, before Martha was able to find her own kind of happiness in a very different existence.One of Susan Sallis's most poignant and involving novels, The Keys to the Garden explores the mother-daughter relationship with a rare insight.
Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense was the body-heir of Lady Rezalla and, as such, was the heiress of one of the First Families on Vega III. But even as a child she eschewed the formalities of her aristocratic background and was happiest in her father's shipyard. By the time she was in her twenties she was the designer of the most advanced space yacht in the galaxy, and was owner of the Rondymense shipyards.It was on a test of her Mark 5 prototype that things went wrong. In an empty space field, suitable for test runs, she was suddenly confronted with the boiling white pout of a wormhole, was sucked in, only to be thrown out into an unknown dimension of space. She was not the first. As she explored this new, unfamiliar section of the universe she found traces of ships that had been marooned over many centuries.Not knowing if she would ever return to the world she knew, Nimisha chose to land on 'Erewhon' - fascinating, terrifying, beautiful and frightening - and inhabited not only by three survivors of a previous Vegan ship but by something else...
'Disturbing, compelling, beautifully translated' The Times'Electric, urgent, luminous ... a coming-of-age with a difference' Daily MailEleven-year-old Djata makes sure he is always home on Sundays. It is the day the State Security came to take his father away, and he believes it will be a Sunday when his father finally comes home again.While he waits, Djata lives out a life of adventure. He plays wargames in flaming wheat fields; hunts for gold in abandoned claymines; watches porn in a backroom at the cinema, and plays chess with an automaton. But lurking beneath his rebel boyhood, pulling at his heartstrings, is the continued absence of his father. When he finally uncovers the real truth, he risks losing his childhood for ever. With THE WHITE KING, György Dragomàn won the prestigious Sàndor Màrai prize. An urgent, humorous and melancholy picture of a childhood behind the Iron Curtain it introduces a stunning new voice in contemporary fiction.
'I'm still rather fond of this first book of mine, in spite of all the time that has elapsed, and in spite of the way my style has evolved.' Joanne HarrisCaution - May contain vampires.
It's never easy to face the fact that a man you once loved passionately has found the girl of his dreams, as Alice discovers when Joe introduces her to his new girlfriend. Then Alice finds an old diary and reads about two men and the mysterious woman who bewitched them both, buried in Grantchester churchyard half a century ago.As the stories seem to intertwine, Alice comes to realize that her instinctive hatred of Joe's new girlfriend may not just be due to jealousy, as she is plunged into a nightmare world of obsession, revenge, seduction - and blood.
As in all hospitals, the medical hierarchy of The House of God was a pyramid - a lot at the bottom and one at the top.Put another way it was like an ice-cream cone...you had to lick your way up!Roy Basch, the 'red-hot' Rhodes Scholar, thought differently - but then he hadn't met Hyper Hooper, out to win the most post-mortems of the year award, nor Molly, the nurse with the crash helmet.He hadn't even met any of the Gomers ('Get Out of My Emergency Room!'), the no-hopers who wanted to die but who were worth more alive!
For Rebecca Bloomwood, life is peachy. She has a job on morning TV, her bank manager is actually being nice to her, and when it comes to spending money, her new motto is Buy Only What You Need - and she's really (sort of) sticking to it. The icing on the brioche is that she's been offered a chance to work in New York.New York! The Museum of Modern Art! The Guggenheim! The Metropolitan Opera House! And Becky does mean to go to them all. Honestly. It's just that it seems silly not to check out a few other famous places first. Like Saks. And Bloomingdales. And Barneys. And one of those fantastic sample sales where you can get a Prada dress for $10. Or was it $100? Is Becky too dazzled to care?Everybody loves Sophie Kinsella:"I almost cried with laughter" Daily Mail"Hilarious . . . you'll laugh and gasp on every page" Jenny Colgan"Properly mood-altering . . . funny, fast and farcical. I loved it" Jojo Moyes"A superb tale. Five stars!" Heat
For once in Becky Bloomwood s life, things are going smoothly. She s got the dream job as a personal shopper (spending other people s money and getting paid for it). She s got a fabulous Manhattan apartment with her boyfriend Luke. They ve even opened a joint bank account (although they can t quite agree on whether a Miu Miu skirt counts as a household expense).Then Luke proposes and all of a sudden life gets hectic. Becky s mum in rural Surrey wants one thing, Luke s mother in New York wants the complete opposite. Becky knows she has to sit down and decide but to be honest, it s a lot more fun testing cake, trying on dresses and registering wedding presents. But time s ticking by, plans are being made both sides of the Atlantic and soon she realizes she s in trouble Everybody loves Sophie Kinsella:"I almost cried with laughter" Daily Mail"Hilarious . . . you'll laugh and gasp on every page" Jenny Colgan"Properly mood-altering . . . funny, fast and farcical. I loved it" Jojo Moyes"A superb tale. Five stars!" Heat
Sleep, Pale Sister, a powerful, atmospheric and blackly gothic evocation of Victorian artistic life, was originally published before Joanne Harris achieved worldwide recognition with Chocolat.
Henry Chester, a domineering and puritanical Victorian artist, is in search of the perfect model. In nine-year-old Effie he finds her.Ten years later, lovely, childlike and sedated, Effie seems the ideal wife. But something inside her is about to awaken.Drawn into a dangerous underworld of prostitution, murder and blackmail, she must finally plan her revenge.
'Timely, impassioned and brilliantly argued' Rod Liddle, Sunday Times'A spirited and exhilarating read' Joan Bakewell, GuardianANNIVERSARY EDITION WITH NEW MATERIAL
The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind.Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children.The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.
In the company of his friend Stephen Katz (last seen in the bestselling Neither Here nor There), Bill Bryson set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, the longest continuous footpath in the world. Ahead lay almost 2,200 miles of remote mountain wilderness filled with bears, moose, bobcats, rattlesnakes, poisonous plants, disease-bearing tics, the occasional chuckling murderer and - perhaps most alarming of all - people whose favourite pastime is discussing the relative merits of the external-frame backpack.Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime's ambition - not to die outdoors.
It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still Australia teems with life - a large portion of it quite deadly. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else.Ignoring such dangers - and yet curiously obsessed by them - Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging: their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn't get much better than this...
'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to'And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres. He discovered a continent that was doubly lost; lost to itself because blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own land.Bryson's acclaimed first success, The Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature - hilariously, stomach-achingly, funny, yet tinged with heartache - and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generation.
Bill Bryson's first travel book, The Lost Continent, was unanimously acclaimed as one of the funniest books in years. In Neither Here nor There he brings his unique brand of humour to bear on Europe as he shoulders his backback, keeps a tight hold on his wallet, and journeys from Hammerfest, the northernmost town on the continent, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. Fluent in, oh, at least one language, he retraces his travels as a student twenty years before.Whether braving the homicidal motorists of Paris, being robbed by gypsies in Florence, attempting not to order tripe and eyeballs in a German restaurant or window-shopping in the sex shops of the Reeperbahn, Bryson takes in the sights, dissects the culture and illuminates each place and person with his hilariously caustic observations. He even goes to Liechtenstein.
'Who died?' I said. 'Or is it a secret?'
'My mother, Vianne Rocher.'Seeking refuge and anonymity in the cobbled streets of Montmartre, Yanne and her two daughters live peacefully, if not happily, above their little chocolate shop. Nothing unusual marks them out; no red sachets hang by the door.The wind has stopped - at least for a while. Then into their lives blows Zozie de l'Alba, the lady with the lollipop shoes,ruthless, devious and seductive. With everything she loves at stake, Yanne must face a difficult choice; to flee, as she has done so many times before, or to confront her most dangerous enemy...Herself.
Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby...Ruby tells the story of The Family, from the day at the end of the nineteenth century when a travelling French photographer catches frail beautiful Alice and her children, like flowers in amber, to the startling, witty, and memorable events of Ruby's own life.
The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes.A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.
THE ISLAND IS DIVIDED, BUT ONE MAN'S LOVE WILL NEVER BE COMPROMISED...Cyprus, 1955 - a guerrilla war is raging and four Greek brothers are growing up to the familiar sounds of exploding bombs and sniper fire.Determined to avenge the death of his elder brother and to win the heart of his beloved Praxi, young Loukis joins a cell of schoolboy terrorists operating in the mountains. But when his cohorts blow themselves up in a freak accident, he returns home in shock, yearning for the warm embrace of his family - and of his sweetheart.But his adored Praxi is now married to someone else, and playing at her feet is a young toddler...
A day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse, until she makes a shocking impulse purchase. That one moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy's humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn. Witnesses to Tracy's outrageous exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie, who has returned to his home county in search of someone else's roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished.
In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and 'Ooh lovely' at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners' Question Time. Notes from a Small Island was a huge number-one bestseller when it was first published, and has become the nation's most loved book about Britain, going on to sell over two million copies.
Friday nights, the best night of the week, the night they all looked forward to more than they cared to admit - talking, drinking, laughing and crying together.They were six female friends, different in age and circumstances, but with one common need: the warmth and support of their Friday nights. It was a time to share secrets and fears, triumphs and tragedies and, above all, to feel safe in the company of women friends. But things never stay the same forever, especially when a man is introduced into the mix...
Tilo, an immigrant from India, runs an Indian spice shop in Oakland, California. While she dispenses the classic ingredients for curries and kormas, she also helps her customers to gain a more precious commodity: whatever they most desire. For Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a priestess of the secret, magical powers of spices.Through those who visit and revisit her shop - Ahuja's wife, caught in an unhappy, abusive marriage; Jagjit, the victim of racist attacks at school; the noisy bougainvillaea girls, rejecting the strict upbringing of their tradition-bound Indian parents; Haroun who drives a taxi and dreams the American dream - we get a glimpse into the life of the local Indian expatriate community. To each Tilo dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice: coriander for sight; turmeric to erase wrinkles; cinnamon for finding friends; fenugreek to make a rejected wife desirable again; chillies for the cleansing of evil. But when a lonely American comes into the store, a troubled Tilo cannot find the right spice, for he arouses in her a forbidden desire, and following her own desires will destroy her magical powers.Compelling and lyrical, full of heady scents and with more than a touch of humour, this novel explores the clash between East and West even as it unveils the universal mysteries of the human heart.
Nefertiti - the most powerful, charismatic and beautiful Queen of the ancient world. With her husband, Akhenaten, she rules over an Empire at the peak of its glory and domination. Together, they have built a magnificent new city in the desert on the banks of the Nile. They are about to host kings, dignitaries and leaders from around the Empire for a vast festival to celebrate their triumph. But suddenly, Nefertiti vanishes. Rahotep is the youngest chief detective of the Thebes division; a 'Seeker of Mysteries' who knows about shadows and darkness, and who can see patterns where others cannot. His unusual talents earn him a summons to the royal court. Rahotep is given ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the festival. Success will bring glory - but if he fails, he and his young family will die...Closely based on historical research, NEFERTITI tells the hidden story of the crimes, mysteries and secrets of the dark game of power played out against the vast panorama of a society in revolution.